Music at Eaton Park
Subject leader: Miss Hickton and Miss Wilton
Subject coach: Mrs Bell
Link governor: Mrs Jones
Music at Eaton Park Academy is a valuable thread that allows us to foster and cultivate a real love of music with our pupils from our EYFS right through to the end of KS2. Music is a creative way of communicating with others which can inspire and motivate children across the whole curriculum. As a subject, it is a vehicle for personal expression, changing the way children feel, think and act. Music is an integral part of culture and history around the world; as a result it provides the children with the opportunity to understand themselves more and to relate to others. Through music, children can explore the different inter-related dimensions both individually and within groups, which allows them to develop a sense of group identity and feel part of a wider community. Teaching music at Eaton Park Academy allows the children to improve their listening skills as well as allowing children to appreciate a wide variety of music and how it can make you feel.
All aspects of the arts allow children to develop both creatively and in confidence, which means music is a great tool for our pupils to develop themselves further, and not just musically. It can also be a demanding subject that allows a depth of challenge for our more able musical pupils. Our intent at Eaton Park Academy is that we want our children to create, perform and enjoy music; to be able to appreciate and find joy in a range of musical genres; and to be able to evaluate music using key musical vocabulary.
To do this our curriculum enables children to:
• Understand how sounds are made, changed and organised using musical elements and structures
• Know how music is produced using a wide variety of instruments and know how to use formal and informal notation to write down compositions
• Recognise how music is influenced by time and place and is affected by venue, occasion and purpose
• Know how music has developed over time and throughout history
• Utilise the inter-related dimensions and elements of music to appraise music and when considering their own performances and compositions
The Subject Leader:
I would like to introduce myself as Miss Hickton, the music subject leader here at Eaton Park Academy. My love and passion for all things related to music means that I have the ability to develop, motivate and inspire staff and pupils at Eaton Park Academy to be the best musicians that they can possibly be. My own passion for music stems from an early age when I began to learn the recorder in primary school. From there my love for music only continued to grow, and I began to learn the piano, found my singing voice and even took up the violin. I have completed musical theory exams, which means I have a substantial understanding of the fundamental elements of the music curriculum. Not only this, but I have an involvement in producing a local scout gang show, Burdi Boys, every two years, where my musical knowledge is invaluable in selecting, adapting and teaching songs to the cast. Within the academy, my passion for music is well-known, and I am the driving force behind our productions and musical events, including partaking in concerts at a local theatre and organising musical visits and lessons from outside organisations and teachers. The main priority for me as the subject leader is to ensure that the love of music that I discovered in primary school is experienced and developed and retained for all of our pupils.
Music is at the heart of all that we do at Eaton Park and our children all enjoy music whether it be during an assembly, practising for a concert or even in whole class music lessons. Our rationale for music ensures that we provide the children with opportunities to sing, play a variety of instruments and to take private lessons if they wish to. We recognise the value of music in developing the whole pupil as well as the value of improving the cognitive ability of our children. For a long time, music has been perceived to be an effective tool for developing pupil confidence, listening skills, language acquisition and improving attention span, and this is something we value at Eaton Park. Further to this, playing an instrument (for our pupils who receive one to one tuition especially) can lead to a sense of achievement as well as improving the child’s ability to be persistent in overcoming frustrations when learning becomes more challenging. Offering our children additional lessons means that children with a real passion for the subject can push themselves and excel further in an area of the curriculum that they enjoy and benefit from.
As the subject lead for music, I believe that our children will achieve more when they are exposed to exciting high-quality music and performances. The CPD that is planned for staff in school currently is to ensure that staff are developing their own subject knowledge within the area of music so that they can provide these high-quality music lessons that enable our pupils to foster and further embed their love of the subject. Music for us at Eaton Park is currently on a journey, improving staff confidence in teaching lessons that meet the needs of all pupils and the National Curriculum. I myself attend meetings and training at our local music hub to ensure that my own skills and knowledge are up to date.
Mrs Jones, the link governor for music, meets regularly with myself to discuss the progress and development of the music curriculum at Eaton Park. Key information regarding the subject is also shared with her termly through my subject reports, which outline the key points of how music is developing within school. Mrs Jones enjoys attending our events that include musical elements, including concerts and musical evenings. As a governor with previous teaching experience at our school, Mrs Jones has the passion, understanding and desire to hold me, as the leader, to account for the quality of the music provision at Eaton Park Academy, which in turn benefits both the staff and pupils of our academy.
At Eaton Park Academy, we ensure that music lessons are fun and valuable experiences for our children. We promote opportunities for our children to take part in further lessons to whole class sessions if they wish to learn a particular instrument, including encouraging pupils to attend the City Music choirs and ensembles. Our lessons focus on teaching the children how to sing clearly in tune independently and within a group, being able to control how they use their voices and how to breathe. Children learn about how music is structured and organised alongside teaching them to listen and appreciate pieces of music – improving children’s concentration when listening. With an understanding of musical vocabulary, children are able to articulate their thoughts about a piece of music as well as how to understand musical notation for when playing pieces or composing their own pieces, which they can perform as part of an ensemble.
The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
– perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
– learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
– understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
Key Stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:
– use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
– play tuned and untuned instruments musically
– listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
– experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
Pupils should be taught to:
– play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
– improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
– listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
– use and understand staff and other musical notations
– appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
– develop an understanding of the history of music.
Early Years Foundation Stage:
Music underpins all of our learning in Early Years Foundation Stage, and our syllabus develops children’s imaginations which is crucial in their creative development. We ensure that music provides a stimulating environment which nurtures creativity and where originality and expressiveness are valued. As well as incorporating music into our classroom daily, we also have dedicated music lessons, allowing our children to experience the skills they will explore as they move up within our school. We relate the musical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals. Songs and rhythms are used to build upon a child’s mathematical knowledge, and songs from different cultures increase their knowledge and understanding of the world.
Assessment for learning:
During lessons, children are able to showcase their musical ability both independently and within a group. Teachers provide children with verbal feedback when they have completed a performance to enhance their future progress through observations in lessons. Children also assess their peers as they progress throughout the school, using their prior knowledge of musical vocabulary. Pupil in upper key stage two are encouraged to assess their own performances to understand how they can improve their own work. Staff use an online assessment tool at the end of each term to make a judgement about pupils, using the terminology emerging, securing and exceeding.
Music within other curriculum subjects:
SMSC – Children can develop their knowledge and positive attitudes of different cultures by studying and performing music from a variety of cultures. Singing songs related to religious festivals, such as Easter and Christmas, is a good way for the children to explore their spiritual beliefs.
MFL – New vocabulary encountered when teaching a foreign language can be learned through singing songs. This will ensure that the language is memorable for our children. We do this using our Salut! programme.
History – Music can enhance our history lessons by allowing the children to study and perform music from different time periods. Children also learn about the history of different musical periods and key historical composers throughout their time in KS2.
English – Music encourages children to develop the intonation and expression in their voice. Singing helps children to focus on the rhyme, rhythm and diction of language. By working collaboratively, children are building on their listening and communication skills.
Maths – Music is full of patterns and processes that children can observe when looking at the structure of songs. There are also opportunities for children to count beats within a bar and to record these when composing a piece of their own music.
PSHE – Performing music builds self-confidence and encourages children to express themselves. By composing and playing music in groups, children are encouraged to work collaboratively and promotes good listening skills.
At Eaton Park our enrichment allows our children to thrive within music. We are visited annually by Key Strings, who perform live music using instruments from the string family. Their performances are filled with historical context, links to SMSC and important musical vocabulary. Our younger children partake in Boogie Beat who combine traditional fairy tales and nursery rhymes with a lively, active movement theme and a fun mix of singing, dancing and role play with lots of sensory props from scarves to shakers and puppets to parachute each class is packed full of early years learning, fun and smiles! Boogie Beat helps develop social skills, confidence, coordination & motor skills as well as literacy, numeracy and key stage skills in a fun, friendly, lively and energetic session. Weekly Hymn Practices are held for the whole school, where children learn songs that will be sung in concerts, other assemblies and church services. One to one tuition is something that we value at Eaton Park, offering lessons in both piano and violin for children. Further to this, our children are exposed to further live music and singing outside of the classroom with trips to the theatre for the local pantomime.
Songbirds & Little Mixed Voices & Musical Events:
Our curriculum is further enhanced by our KS1 Songbirds club and KS2 Little Mixed Voices club which are both ran by our peripatetic music teacher, Mrs Davies, who has an exceptional rapport with the children. The children learn a set selection of songs for a Christmas concert and a summer-themed concert, which are then performed alongside other primary schools from across the city. During this experience, the children are also exposed to one of the City Music ensembles, who come to play along at the concert, thus inspiring some pupils to join in with further musical education provision.
The school has a variety of tuned and un-tuned instruments. Children can individually and collaboratively compose pieces of music using a range of percussion instruments such as tambourines and African drums. We use the website Sing Up to learn songs linked to our topics. This allows the children to deepen their knowledge learnt in their history and geography lessons. From year 2 upwards, each class has a full set of recorders to use during their music lessons. We have an accessible piano for the children to use in their private music lessons. To enhance our school performances and celebrations, the hall is equipped with a high-quality sound system and microphones.
“My mum inspired me to play the violin because she used to. Mrs Mayer builds my confidence by praising my performances.” – Tyler, Y6
“Music has helped me to learn more about our topic, ‘The Romans’.” – Charlie, Y4
“Our show at The Victoria Hall is fun because we get to sing in front of lots of people.” – Amelia, Y4
“I can read and play the note B on my recorder now.” – Lexi-May , Y3
“The musical evening is great because our parents can see what we have achieved. I like watching the other performances too.” – Skye, Y5
“Mrs Davies is a good teacher because she teaches us lots of songs. My favourite is Frosty the Snowman.” – Mia, Y2
“We sing songs with Mrs Davies. She sings first, and ten we sing after. We learn actions too.” – Libby, Y1